Sihanoukville, Cambodia — Following almost a year of consultations and discussions, the Royal Government of Cambodia has officially confirmed its commitment to the three-year implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA). The Memorandum of Agreement which identifies the key areas of partnership, was signed by Dr. Mok Mareth, Senior Minister and Minister of Environment, and Prof. Raphael P.M. Lotilla, Executive Director of the PEMSEA Resource Facility on 19 November 2008.The SDS-SEA implementation in Cambodia is part of the country's broader initiative to implement the Rectangular Strategy by addressing sustainable development issues such as governance and improving capacity of various sectors to promote poverty reduction measures. Despite Cambodia's long history in coastal management, tremendous pressure from the expansion of industries, tourism, and agriculture continually challenge sustainable development in the coastal areas.The country's three-year work programme will focus on strengthening existing institutional mechanisms for coordination and implementation to harness available resources and strategically channel these to achieve national targets and sustainable development objectives. Capacity development among coastal provinces and communities, including the transfer of good practices, is an essential component in the national government's ICM scaling up programme.The country's SDS-SEA implementation programme will engage various agencies and institutions, including the Ministry of Public Works and Transport through the Merchant Marine Department for the implementation of the Framework Statement on Oil Spill Preparedness and Response in the Gulf of Thailand, and the Royal University of Phnom Penh for the facilitation of capacity development initiatives. In collaboration with the UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme, community participation will be further broadened to implement projects of immediate benefit to impoverished coastal communities.